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Fine Art A-Level

Fine Art A-Level The Bedford Sixth Form

Fine art is a versatile discipline that requires engagement with aesthetic and intellectual concepts through the use of media, materials, techniques and processes.

Fine art is about self-expression and communicating ideas. Students are expected to work in one or more of the following disciplines: painting and drawing, printmaking, sculpture and lens-based image making.

Students are encouraged to be experimental with their concepts and outcomes. Fine art can be interpreted as an individual discipline being used to explore personal and cultural identity, society and how we live.

Fine art embraces both traditional and non-traditional techniques. Drawing in fine art forms an essential part of the development process from initial ideas to finished work. Students should consider the application of new technology within the creative industry and will explore software such Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to support this.

Intertwined with all subject content is contextual understanding, research skills and professional practice. Students will look at a variety of sources to inform and inspire their work such as galleries, museums, trade fairs, exhibitions, nature, films, music and literature. We encourage students to develop their own professional practice as a creative and, will be supported in the development of portfolios, websites, blogs and business cards.

Fine Art A-Level The Bedford Sixth Form

Year 1 Content

A series of skill-based projects focusing on introducing students to the subject disciplines; painting and drawing, printmaking, sculpture and lens-based image making. Students will explore a variety of techniques, mediums and resources that will both broaden their knowledge and prepare them for their second year.

These projects will cover idea development, skills, knowledge, research, planning, techniques and final production.

The mediums that are explored include graphite, oil pastel, soft pastel, charcoal, ink, chalk, watercolour, acrylic, dyes, oil paint and pencil.

Students will develop skills in monoprinting, linocut, etching, painting, sketching, observational drawing, clay, screen printing, photography, collage and mixed media.

This is a linear subject which means students will not receive their qualification until the end of second year. Throughout the first year students are given continuous feedback, tutorial support and regular assessment so they are aware of their progress.

Fine Art A-Level The Bedford Sixth Form

Year 2 Content

Component 1: Personal Investigation

Component 1 is coursework based and is weighted at 60% of the total qualification. It incorporates three major elements, supporting studies, practical work and a personal study of a minimum 1000 words of continuous prose. This project begins in September and ends in January of the following year.

Component 2: Externally Set Assignment

Component 2 is based on an exam title that students respond to by developing a portfolio of practical work and final outcome(s), this is weighted at 40% of the total qualification. It incorporates two major elements: preparatory studies and the 15-hour period of sustained focus. The externally set assignment will begin in February each year.

Additional Information

What does this course prepare me for?

This subject will allow you to transition into employment, study an art and design related foundation course or progress on to degree-level study in fine art, surface pattern, illustration, architecture, interior design or photography.

Entry requirements

Some of our subjects are subject to standard entry requirement and some have additional requirements. Please see below:

Subject specific entry requirements

  • 5 in an Art Design subject (a portfolio of previous work may also be requested)

Standard entry requirements

  • At least five GCSEs at grades 9-4 including English Language and Maths (one Vocational or Technical qualification at Merit or above may be counted)


  • At least grade 4 (or Merit for Vocational or Technical qualifications) in any subject(s) that you have taken at GCSE and wish to continue studying at Level 3


  • Average GCSE (best 8) of at least 4 (38 on the old points table)


  • Grade 4 (or Merit), at least, in any subject previously studied
  • Students will take either 3 A-Level subjects or 1 Diploma subject with 1 A-Level
September 2024

Apply now!

Applications for a September 2024 start at The Bedford Sixth Form are open now! Apply now and achieve great things.

Please note: Applications will close on Friday 31 May 2024. Applications made after this date will be added to a waiting list.